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Regional CIOs pick networking and security as top investment priorities

By Sathya Mithra Ashok

Networking infrastructure remained the top major technology stack that end-users will be looking for from across the region in 2011, gaining more than 33% respondents, in the groundbreaking ICT Spending Trends Survey 2011 conducted by CPI.

This was closely followed by security at 27%. Broadband issues came to the fore, as more than 14% of the respondents picked WAN optimisation as one of the major technologies they would be looking to invest in 2011. Around 11% chose unified communications, and another 11% picked managed services. Contact centre systems were picked as a solution stack of interest by only 4% of respondents.

The survey also revealed that more than 50% of IT end-user respondents were already or would soon be actively looking for solutions around network security protection over the next 12 months.

While around 20% stated that they would be looking for end-point protection solutions to invest in 2011, around 15% stated they would be looking for risk and compliance options and another 15% opted for content protection.

The survey, which was conducted from the end of December 2010 to the end of February 2011, brought in responses from over 1000 CIOs, IT managers and IT decision makers from across the GCC region.

VoIP (voice over internet protocol) and unified communications topped the list of applications that end-users believed would become critical over 2011, bringing in 37% responses. IT decision makers also picked video conferencing and/or telepresence (25.7%), cloud and/or software-as-a-service (SaaS) (24.3%) and video streaming and/or on-demand video apps (10%), as applications or software solutions of critical interest through the rest of the year.

Interestingly, in spite of the huge hype surrounding cloud technologies and the relevant benefits it can provide organisations going forward, an overwhelming 77.4% respondents stated that they were not currently engaged in implementing any cloud-related technologies or solutions. However, as more is revealed in terms of the cloud and its related services in the region, cloud implementations are likely to increase in 2012.

The ICT Spending Trends Survey 2011 was sponsored by Gartner, Aspect, Du, McAfee, EMC, HP, SonicWall and Blue Coat Systems.

Respondents also stated their views on different issues that they face in the local ICT market, including staff training, vendor relations and support challenges. We will bring you these findings from the ICT Spending Trends Survey 2011 going forward. Watch this space for more information.

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